A look at
Minonk's past

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Hemp plant

Minonk area farmers grew hemp during World War II to provide rope for the Armed Forces. The hemp was processed at the hemp plant which was located northwest of Minonk. The building was torn down in 1997 and was located immediately east of the Caroline Development at the I-39 intersection.

The photo to the right shows a crop of hemp ready to be harvested. It is not known who the farmer is in the picture but the guy with the fedora hat is believed to be Frank Black. Although he looks like a NARC agent he probably was a government agent supervising the crop production. Why is he smiling?

Hemp was a form of marijuana although it is not known if it produces the same affects as marijuana. Occassionally, a hemp plant will be found growing in the wild along the road ditches northwest of Minonk. Glenn Barth of Minonk said that his father Lester Barth used to harvest hemp. He said the hemp vines were so difficult to remove from the binder axle that they would throw gasoline on the hemp vines and burn them off.

The third photo at the right shows the hemp plant building. The building later was used as a clothing factory by Bob Granert in the late 40's and early 50's. See story.

The photo below is of Frank Black who ran the hemp mill.

These pictures were in an old album found in a box in City Hall.

Pictured above is a field of hemp near Minonk.

Hemp being cut by a binder in the field.

The building where the hemp was processed.